After another marathon day stonewalling with Tony, I headed down to Rosslyn’s boathouse to check on the gangway gang’s progress. Peter and Supi were just beginning to wind down for the day, taking extra steps to protect their materials and equipment from yet another round of incoming rain. I know, it hardly seem possible!
This boathouse maintenance project — repairing and replacing the deck, stairs, and railings — is on schedule for inclusion in the Guinness World Records for most extended, delayed, and slow-mo renovation initiative ever. As you may recall, our original boathouse gangway rehabilitation took place about a decade and a half ago. It looked grand for a while, but ultimately it succumbed to the TimberSIL fiasco.
A boathouse and gangway, extending out into Lake Champlain inevitably endures some inhospitable conditions during winter and spring under the best of circumstances. Add in “lemon” structural materials, and longevity becomes a mirage. Our annual maintenance became more and more invasive and extensive it season, until we finally opted to undertake a full repair/rebuild. And if the TimberSIL drama wasn’t sufficiently aggrieving, we doubled down on our bad fortune by ignoring the warnings of friends and hiring an OPUD who added another disastrous downturn to this historic structure.
A year ago our fortunes turned when Peter and Supi took on the muddle that a half dozen other contractors had veered clear of upon inspecting the OPUD’s work. After an almost complete demo and reboot, this time building to code, duplicating the previous gangway and railings, and ensuring that the construction would actually be safe, Susan and I began to rekindle our optimism. But a midwinter shuffle of the icehouse rehab team resulted in stalling boathouse so that Peter and Supi could assume a leadership role in the icehouse. So, another delay.
Almost one year later, tumbling toward the conclusion of summer 2023, our gangway gang are back at it. And what a relief it is to see them transforming this iconic structure from eyesore back to the charming subject of so many artists and ferry passengers. Thanks, Peter and Supi! Done soon?